Monty's Grill - Royal Oak, MI

Welcome to Monty’s Grill in Royal Oak, Michigan! BOY do we have a show for you today. Folks, you’re about to see something special here. Today, you’ll have a chance to witness, all in one place, the very best that Monty’s has to offer.


Hailing from Metro-Detroit and beyond, these are the… MONTY’S GRILL ALL STARS!

 

#1

NAME: Woman Who Sits Alone

POSITION: Corner of the bar by the free newspapers

GO-TO MEAL: Half an egg and a black coffee

BIO: Hailing from what is most likely a literal cathouse, this queen of quiet speaks to nobody. Is she a librarian? Is she mute like that lady from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? Mum’s the word! Often staring out the window or scowling at your conversation, she lives by her creed: Don’t ask. Don’t tell!

 

#2

NAME: Jim

OR IS IT: Joe? Jimpy?

GO-TO MEAL: Meatloaf, Fries (w/ extra salt) and a Vernor’s

YOU KNOW WHAT I THINK?: You will

BIO:  Need an opinion? Jammer’s got plenty! Johnboy here’s a conversational chimera; try to kill one and three more grow in its place. With the help of his super-hearing, he’ll jump in on any topic. War? The more the better. The Economy? Socialism is destroying it faster than he can say “Who is Karl Marx?” Entertainment? Everything after Styx is irrelevant except that puppet guy… Dunham! You should watch his HBO! Such is Jombor’s mighty prowess. With one lash of his tongue, Jobe can transform any discussion into a disquisition.

 

The Arena

Picture c/o Yelp


#3

NAME: Flirty Waitress Who is Way Younger Than You Thought

POSITION: Bending over for something

AGE: I dunno… 24? 25? (She’s sixteen)

BIO: She’s young. You’re male. And it’s time. To. ORDER! Flaunting a newfound feminine body, no untoward gaze could shrivel this colt. Weathering the mostly good-hearted – sometimes awkward – insinuations of the male clientele with only the protectant naiveté of youth, this PYT is actually an honor student with a deep interest in literature. Who saw that coming?

 

#4

NAME: Guy in Wheelchair with Unknown Ailment

POSITION: Below the counter

GO-TO MEAL: So much corned beef hash

HOW DOES HE GET HERE: Seriously, there aren’t any wheelchair vans in the lot and it’s cold outside

HE MUST BE: A wizard

BIO: Is it some form of degenerative disease? Was it a horrific car accident? He certainly doesn’t care! He’s the happiest man on two wheels. Bursting with conversations about the weather, the weather or the weather, this sagamore of seated smiles can hold court with any crowd. In a space that’s hardly wheelchair-friendly, this friendly wheelchairer brings a ray of sunshine to any brunchtime.

 

#420

NAME: High Teenagers

POSITION: Paranoid

DO YOU THINK ANYBODY KNOWS: Everybody knows

GO-TO MEAL: Ummmmm... Uhhhhhhhh… Ummmmm…

BIO: They’ll have the pancakes! Known to local parents as “The Instigator” and “The Tagalong” this doped-up duo has a Learner’s Permit between them and are taking their newfound freedom for a joyride. The only thing poorer than this pair’s diet are their decision-making skills. Hey Bros, can we snake a toke? Of course not! Their older brother’s stash is cached!

 

The gatekeeper.

Picture C/O Localstew, Michigan

 

#7

NAME: Parent Who No Longer Cares

POSITION: Hunched and broken

GO-TO MEAL: An overflowing plate of regret

HEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING: Your kid is swallowing a knife

BIO: Better call Ch-Ch-Ch-Child Services because this parent has ch-ch-ch-checked out! This nabob of neglect is so adept at aversion that it wouldn’t make a difference if their child was eating with their hands or eating your hand. Hear that screaming? They don’t! Look deep into the ill-rested prison of their eyes and you’ll find the unvarnished framework of true pain!

 

 #8

NAME: That Guy You’ve Already Met Like Three Times

NAME: Shit…

POSITION: This place is too small to avoid eye contact forever

GO-TO MEAL: Oh God he’s coming over

BIO: Heeyyyyyyyyy man! How’s it going? The rest of my night? Which night was that? Yeah it was great. Yeahhhh there were so many people there that night. How’s work going? Good? Yeah? Same here. Going well. Yeah, status quo with what I do. Ok cool, man. Catch you later.

NAME: God dammit

 

 

#1,000,000

NAME: Old Man Who Never Leaves

POSITION: Unchanging

GO-TO MEAL: Time itself

GEOLOGICAL ERA: Paleoproterozoic

BIO: The length of his meal can only be charted in the half-lives of Carbon. With speed akin to the shift of heavenly constellations, he erodes his way through a plate of deadly-cold hash browns. Is he even awake? Or is he slumbering the sleep of a trillion dreams? Tectonically he moves through his seat-bound sub-life, our existence the humming of flies to a stone. None may be so bold as to disrupt his endless vigil. Sit on, old soul. Sit on.

 


The Grill.

Picture c/o Flickr user b_weinstein

 

 

#10 (possibly soon-to-be #10 and #11)

NAME:  Couple that Got Into a Fight on the Way Over

POSITION: Same table/Miles apart

GO-TO MEAL: I’m not hungry

C’MON BABY DON’T BE LIKE THAT: Be like what?!

BIO: Whether she did it again when she said she wouldn’t or the toilet seat just won’t stay down, this prickly pair’s seating arrangement puts the “table” in “unstable.” On the crackling cusp of a breakup, this meal could either be the slow train to Splitsville or the mid-day express to Make-Up Sex-opolis. No matter which way it goes you can bet this beefy bro is fretting himself to a higher hairline.

 

The Owners.

Picture c/o Yelp

 

(The Real) #1s

NAME: Alex and Angie (as pictured above)

POSITION: Dominating the Diner

GO-TO MEAL: Breakfast Special #2 (my go-to at least): 2 eggs, 2 sausages, 2 pancakes, hash browns -- $5.95

BIO: This griddleman is no middleman. An overseer from overseas, Alex, the cook, hails from a former-Soviet country (which I cannot remember). From the crack of dawn to mid-afternoon he’s slinging brunch and lunch from a hole-in-the-wall he’s proud to call his own. Not to mention that his wife, and co-owner, Angie, also waitresses from time to time. And may I say she is a delightful lady who’s always up for a conversation. This couple has created something delicious and heartfelt and great and they deserve all the success in the world.  Don’t just visit Monty’s Grille, convert to it.

 

FOOD: 

3.8 Stars

Simple. Home made. Satisfying. Plus you get to see it made, which always makes food taste better.

PRICE:

Yes

Did you see the price of their breakfast special? That’s in 2013 dollars. You will be very happy with the bill.

AMBIENCE: 

Don’t judge a book etc. etc.

It’s attached to a motel that looks like it probably offers hourly rates. Inside Monty’s, however, it’s cozy (not cramped) with an atmosphere of friendship, not exclusivity.

SERVICE: 

More than service

If you put the least effort in, your server will become your friend.

EAT OR SKIP:

Eat

Monty’s Grill may not have the Very Best Food of all the diners in the Royal Oak/Ferndale area. But I still went there probably twice as often as any other. It’s a special place run by fantastic people. Eat at Monty’s Grill.

 

Ruby Tuesday/TGI Fridays/O’Charley’s/Applebee’s/Red Lobster/Olive Garden/Etc. – Philadelphia, PA



No.

 

 

FOOD: 

.1 Star

This is how you take advantage of people: serve only items that hit all the most widely-shared flavor notes among your key demographics – as indexed and cross-referenced through countless laboratory flavor studies. Then work out a national deal for nothing but the most cost-effective (that means cheapest without being able to taste it) ingredients for your staff to unseal, microwave, warm up or fry, and serve in portions with enough processed calories to feed a North Korean labor camp for a month. Now that’s casual dining!

PRICE: 

Too Little Yet Too Much

Math designed to simultaneously accommodate and bilk the majority of proud American citizens.

AMBIENCE:

 Profit

Every single part of the décor (down to the color of the napkins) has been planned, reviewed by associates, reviewed by managers, reviewed by the CEO, completely redone, laboriously reviewed again by the aforementioned parties, redone slightly and then implemented (with an interior renovation already planned for 4th Quarter 2014). As charming as the firm of the accountant who ran the numbers (no hate on accountants).

SERVICE:

 The Only (Kinda) Upside

“So. So. So Drunch! You mean to tell me you’re not happy that food corporations are out there making jobs for hard-working Americans that are simply struggling to make ends meet? You’re saying that you want all the waitresses and hosts and cooks and managers and franchisees of the United States of America -- who decided to call Ruby Tuesday/TGI Fridays/O’Charley’s/Applebee’s/Red Lobster/Olive Garden/Etc. their place of employ -- to be kicked out of their homes and banished, broken and destitute, to overgrown street corners with their tiny children weeping (shirtless!) over torn teddy bears in the pouring, cold rain? Huh? HUH?!”

No. I just wish that these sorts of restaurants didn’t exist. That way, the good people that work there could find another job and the good people that eat there could eat somewhere else. Preferably, somewhere that would support the local economy (of which those workers and eaters are probably contributing members) rather than reverse-funneling money up into the offshore bank accounts of a board of directors who could give somewhere between zero and negative one shits about actual, lovingly-prepared food.

EAT OR SKIP: 

Weep

For there is no stopping them.

 

Fernando's Mexican Cuisine - Dallas, TX

Have you heard of Paulo Profundo? Biggest man who ever lived!

 

They say Paulo could jump a river lengthwise.

In fact, Ol’ Heck Juggins saw Paulo barefoot kick a cactus in two! Swore it on his only son.

 

I heard Paulo could ride two bulls at once. Not only that, but he’d do it whistling as sweet a tune as you’d like to hear in the bushes on a hot Texas morning. That Paulo: larger than life itself!

 

Well, one day Paulo went to Fernando’s: the home of the biggest drink special a man could possibly devise. Five Bloody Marys for $8.


Yip yip! 

Shot ℅ Yelp 


$8! And each glass big enough to drown an armadilla! And the alcohol! Hoooweee! Just one whiff could get grand-pappy misty about the Alamo!

 

When old Paulo stomped in, he had a brushfire in his eye; he was there for the deal and the full deal he would have. Why, I was there I tell ya! I saw it all!

 

I was just settin’ at the bar when Paulo saunters in. You knew it was Paulo by the clang of his spurs. Glinting silver they were – big as hubcaps. 

 

The first drink was hardly on the table before Paulo grabbed and downed it in three bobs of his shapely adam’s apple.

 

Then he ordered a plate of chilaquiles and threw them out the window! He even tucked a crisp one into the waitress’ blouse, saying they’d been “delicioso.” By golly if that waitress didn’t blush brighter ’n’ a Plano sunset.

 

The second Bloody, why Paulo ate the entire thing! Plastic and all! Said it tasted like chicken; though anybody with half a brain knows plastic tastes like plastic. But by God if we didn’t believe him!

 

Third drink Paulo makes a show of. He wraps a nostril around the straw and sucks the whole lot up his snoot! Sounded like a fire hose caught in a sinkhole!

Heck, he even snorted the lime!

 

Now on the fourth drink Paulo starts to show wear. Sweat poppin’ up, lookin’ around like he’s some kinda mad. Like we was all there to see him fail! Why, not a soul in Fernando’s wanted to see Paulo go down before the fifth. Not even Fernando himself!

 

Anyway! Fourth drink Paulo pours into a bowl of queso and eats with a fork. Oddest thing I ever seen.

 

By that point, big old Paulo was huffing like a beestung buffalo. Man could empty a whiskey barrel for breakfast but by golly if those four Bloody Marys didn’t have him reeling. Jimbo Cotter swore he saw vapor lines comin’ out of Paulo’s mouth, but I don’t give that no truck because Jimbo Cotter is a thief. Still has my torque wrench.

 

The plate landed on a young boy. Turned him into a man!

Pic ℅ FunthingstodoinDallas


 

Well, you can bet Fernando himself was shaking when he put down that fifth Mary. Paulo stared at it for what must’ve been three hours. Hell, we missed the whole ball game waiting for him to make a move!

 

Finally, Paulo puts a big old mitt around the drink. Everybody’s holding their breath. Not a sound in the place but air wheezin’ outta old man Olynn’s oxygen tank. And what does Paulo do but lift that drink skyward and dump it over his head!

 

Well we all thought he’d lost it. Reckon’d he’d bought the ranch without walkin’ the fenceline! But then Paulo, he beckons Lynn Liedel to come and feel his hair.

 

DRY! PAULO’S HAIR WAS DRY I TELL YOU.

 

Turns out Paulo’d absorbed that last Mary through osmosis! Damnedest thing anyone’s ever seen.

 

Why we had a parade that very day for Paulo and he was the only one in all of Dallas who didn’t come. In fact, Paulo robbed us all blind while we was out at the parade.

 

And can you guess who was angry? Not a one of us!

 

That Paulo. Biggest man who ever lived.

  


FOOD: 

3.5 Stars

More Tex than Mex. This is ideal comfort food while recovering from a raucous night-before.

PRICE:

Capitalism

Given the grub vs. price ratio, you might as well be kissing Ayn Rand smack on her scowling mouth.

AMBIENCE: 

Yeah.

Looks like any restaurant ever. Nothing standout good or bad here.

SERVICE:

Clasped hands

Good stuff.

EAT OR SKIP: 

Skeat

Really depends on your situation. If you want a pile of food to shove down your face-hole, it’s a great choice. If you’re looking for an authentic and original spot for some Mexican cuisine, this is not it.

 

 

 

 

Pat's Hubba Hubba - Port Chester, NY

Hey man! What’s up? OK, you want Me™ to Fly-ify™ you to “food.” 

Is that correct?

*be dong doop* You said “yeah,” right? Great!

OK! How about we go to Pat’s Hubba Hubba? You’ve been there quite a few (63) times. Sound good?

I’m sorry, “whatever” is a noncommittal response. Do you really want Me™ to take you to Pat’s Hubba Hubba? 

Based on your previous responses, “jeeeesus” means “yes.” All ready to go?


*be dong doop* Alright! Here we go, man! Please stand still for ITPR (intratranspositionalrelocation) travel. Per AGMI standards please keep your arms tightly crossed and heels together. 

3.2.1… fffffffFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFfffffffffffff


Employee: Hey Boss, the name on the sign isn't right.

Boss: Is that a problem?

Picture C/O Yelp 


Here we are. Pat’s Hubba Hubba. Is that right? Great! 

You want to call “Her”? OK, I’ll call “Her” now.

*be dong doop* Looks like she’s busy. She sent you this custom Me Away™ message. I’ll read it in her voice.


“Oh hey B.F. I’m a sceech busy. Y so srs aboot calling me? J/K J/K LOL ;). Call back soon. Luv ya.”


So, what do you want to order, man? I’m sorry, I don’t see “I already ordered” on the menu. What do you want to order, man? I’ve heard from (Reviewer NaMe™: Dub_Skrull Dicktopus)that the “chili” here is “yo my boi D sells ill X and nugs and any shit u ned. Jus nock d table. He come up and no wat u down 4 right? Fukyea 420 nshiiiii.” 

Does that help you?

I’m sorry, “I already ordered!” isn’t on the menu. 

*be dong doop* OK I’ll “shut up” now.


You want me to call “Her”? OK, I’ll call “Her” now. 

*be dong doop* Looks like she’s busy. She sent you this custom Me Away™ message. I’ll read it in her voice.

“Oh hey B.F. I’m a sceech busy…”

*be dong doop* OK I’ll “shut up” now.


This restaurant is cool. Even though you’ve been here (63 Prev.) times, you’ve never taken a Me™mory. Do you want to make a Me™mory?  Did you say “Fine. Sure.” OK! This’ll be awesome. 

My T-eye-p™ Translator will transcribe a narration over your Me™mory. What genre would you like the description in? Horror? Fantasy? Hard Boiled Thriller? Memoir? 

OK! What type of memoir? Interpretive? Straightforward? Nostalgic. OK, Nostalgic it is. Here we go!


*be dong doop* Me™mory Transcript: 1:14 PM, Oct 25, 2022:

Pat’s Hubba Hubba (known to those familiar with it as Hubba’s) is no haven of interior design. A restaurant jammed into a hallway bisected by a bar, stools on one side, an extremely long kitchen space on the other. It’s the type of place you’d expect drug deals to go down and have your expectations validated. The walls are covered in a mosaic of old dollar bills, each with the name of its donors scrawled upon it. Ancient messages like GRIZ Crew 1998: Best Eva or KP + ID <3 Hubba’s or simply Suk dick. 


Ladies and gentleman, Hubba's.

Picture C/O Jack Sorokin (sweet photos BTW)


Hubba’s is a place that takes time to love. As you grow older, so does the passion it inspires.

Hubba's is less a restaurant than it is a stage of life. Normally, its significance is brought to bear by the acquisition of a license. That time, in a young person's life of -- until-then -- unparalleled freedom, when the world seemed to open up like an exotic flower.  And what makes Hubba’s special, is that it’s an absolute vacuum of supervision. A place you can go that’s seedy enough to be safe from the disapproving eyes of responsible adults. You, and whoever you happen to be with, are free to act however idiotic you wish, with only the half-disapproving, half-uncomprehending stares of patron whose language you cannot speak.

Behind the counter, one always hears the soporific bubbling of chili: nectar of some South American god. Every order must come with chili. Not that the menu says so. It's simply that if you go to Hubba's and you don't have their chili, you might as well have not gone to Hubba's at all. 

Yes. Here it is: the Chili Cheese Dog Wedge – a crack-addictive combination that sticks two grilled hot dogs (sliced vertically) into a sub roll, covered in both American cheese and chili – an item whose heat-filled deliciousness cannot be paralleled. Especially when matched with Hubba Water.

Take a large Styrofoam cup, add a dash of non-name-brand fruit punch, then fill up the rest with water: Hubba Water. Conjured from the mind of some unknown genius, Hubba Water is, of course, a taste that requires acquisition. But just like everything else about Hubba’s, it is unique. You will not find Hubba Water in other restaurants and if you do, it can’t be the same. The oddly fruity aftertaste doesn’t necessarily “go” with the food. But on another level, something spiritual or perhaps philosophical, it is a vital part of the experience. 

Surely the quintessential nature of th—


You want me to call “Her”? OK, I’ll call “Her” now. 

*be dong doop* Looks like she’s busy. She sent you this custom Me Away™ message. I’ll read it in her voice.

“Oh hey B.F. I’m a sceech bus…”


A trifecta. Nay. The Trifecta. Chili Chee dog Wedge. Chili Chee Fry. Hubba Water.

Picture C/O Ben Hider


You want me to call “Her” again? Just so you know, this is the… (21st) time you’ve called her today. It seems as though she… 

You want me to call “Her”? OK, I’ll call “Her” now. 


*be dong doop* Holla at Me™ Transcript 1:18 PM, Oct. 25, 2022:

“Stop calling me. Seriously.”

“Why haven’t you picked up? Are you ok?”

Said at 1:19 PM, Oct. 25, 2022

“I’m fine… I just….”

“I mean, did I do something wrong? I know you’re my first… well only girlfriend and I don’t want to make you m—

“No. Stop. Just stop calling me. I’m sorry but we’re not dating anymore.”

“Umm… What?”

“I’m sorry. You’re a nice guy. But we can’t date anymore. Something just—.”

“Wait a second. What? We’re not dating?”

“ummmm… yeah.”

“Jeliah, wait I—“

End of Holla at Me™ Transcript 1:20 PM, Oct. 25, 2022


Why say anything, when it's already been said... in song.

Picture C/O Holly Eats


Woah! Cool! “Best Bud” wants to Me™et you.  Will you allow him to Fly-ify™ to your location? 

*be dong doop* OK, awesome. 

fffffffFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFfffffffffffff 

Here he is! 


Pairing Me™ with “Best Bud.” Auto-transcript On.

“Yo what’s up man? Oh shiiiiiiit. Look at that C.C. Dog Wedgemon.”

“Yeah man…”

Said at 1:24 PM, Oct. 25, 2022

“Yo! Can I get a Chili Cheese Dog… Yo! Hey! Cook! Yeah… Can I. Can I get a chili cheese dog wedge. And Hubba water… Oh, and chili cheese fries. Sweet… So what’s up dude?”

“Not much… I mean something but I... I don’t know.”

“… You alright?”

“Jeliah. She broke up with me.”

“Oh damn man. Damn…”

“Yeah…” 

Said at 1:29 PM, Oct. 25 2022

“That’s… That sucks. Cause she’s hot man... Actually, I—”

“I mean, she’s kind of a handful in public and stuff. But when it’s… it was just her and me? It was… natural.”


I’m sorry, did you want Me™ to make a “Nature Documentary”?

*be dong doop* OK. I’ll “shut up” now.

“Yeah your Me™ is fucked too? Mine kept asking if I wanted to listen to emo music while I was jerking off. Thought the chicks I was watching were crying. LOL.”


These are the type of brave men who think, "why buy menus when we have all these paper plates?"

Picture C/O Jack Sorokin 


Hey! It looks like “Her” changed her status from “In a relationship with (you)” to “Single.”

“But yeah man that sucks… Jeliah is choice. Uh, was I guess... Luscious too.”

Hey! It looks like “Her” changed her status from “Single” to “In a relationship with (Best Bud).”


*be dong doop* I’m sorry, you’re speaking too fast. I can’t understand your commands. Please make sure not to yell when giving commands. 

*be dong doop* I think you want me to make that “Nature Documentary” Me™mory. OK, I’ll just go ahead and record a “Nature Documentary” Me™mory. 


Me™mory Transcript: 1:40 PM, Oct 25, 2022:

The young males are visibly agitated. The smaller, bespectacled male has been vexed. The larger male has developed far more muscle in his late adolescence. This is a risky confrontation for our smaller friend.

See how their nostrils flare. This involuntary action, along with others such as clenched fists and a flush that spreads from the cheeks to the entire face, signals that a conflict of some sort is imminent. In this case, the row seems to be over a female. Rarely is it ever not.

Ah, but here’s something, the small male knows a bit of martial arts. Raising his fists in, slightly sloppy, Wing Chun style he prepares. It’s a tense moment between these two young males.

Oh! But here we are! Our larger male appears to be sending out a white flag in the form of an outstretched hand. This age old gesture an attempt to bury the hatchet, so to speak. The younger male contemplates it. We can see tears of strain and tension on his cheeks.

My word. It looks like the conflict may be resolved without any bad blood. Shakily, our smaller male uncoils his fist and pushes forward an open hand.

Oh no! It was a feint. With his guard down, our small male just received a blow to the stomach. He’s gasping beneath the stools.

Victory assured, our larger male dispatches a few parting grunts before turning to leave. 

But what have we here? Our small male is rallying. *Begin African-y Bongo Drum Soundtrack* 

Silently, laboriously, he rises. The larger male has not yet heeded the new advance.  Thanks to an adrenal reaction, our younger male has picked up fantastic speed.

Wow! A square blow dead center of our larger male’s back! It’s sent him right into the counter. An unexpected hit! The larger male is not getting up.

Now, the gravity of the altercation increases. From the larger male’s unmoving head a small puddle of blood is rapidly growing. How the fortunes of... HOLD 


I think I just witnessed a (c/: 911-3581) punishable act of physical violence. Please wait one moment while I send this to AGMI Justice™ for review. 


Oh Hubba's. Never change.

Picture C/O Jack Sorokin 


*be dong doop* I’m sorry, you can’t shut Me™ off while I transmit with AGMI Justice™.  

*be dong doop* I’m sorry you can’t shut Me™ off while I transmit with AGMI Justice™. 

*be dong doop* I’m sorry, your Me™ Link connection cannot be turned off at this time.


JUSTIC MODE ACTIVATED

OK, please stand still and don’t struggle. You’ve been locked down. After reviewing the following video: “Me™mory Transcript 1:40 PM, Oct 25, 2022: Pat’s Hubba Hubba Nature Documentary" AGMI authorities have created a summons (P932-H8242-Br32n4-233n4n) for immediate sentencing.

Beginning ITPR (intratranspositionalrelocation) travel. Per AGMI standards please keep your arms tightly crossed and heels together. 

3.2.1… fffffffFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFfffffffffffff


*be dong doop* Welcome to AGMI Justice™. Please do not struggle. Justice™ will be served in the order in which you arrived.

*be dong doop* I’m sorry, I can’t record here. Factory settings do not allow me to record while in JUSTICE MODE


SENTENCE (P932-H8242-Br32n4-233n4n):

CAUCASIAN MALE. 17. ASSAULT CHARGE. VERIFIED.


RECOMMENDED AUTO-SENTENCE: 2 YEARS SOCIETAL/COMMERCIAL REHABILITATION BROUGHT TO YOU BY AGRONAX, THE WORLD’S #1 PENAL NON-AGGRESSION SUPPLEMENT™. 


BEGIN SENTENCE. 


NOW.



FOOD: 

3.0 Stars

Try Hubba's once, you’ll give it a three. Try it twice, you’ll give it a three point five. Currently, I’d personally give Hubba’s about a twelve out of five stars. 

PRICE:

$Wino$

The menu is paper plates stapled to a wall. 

AMBIENCE:

Psychotic, Poor Scrooge McDuck

A wallpapering of dollar bills. Yes, it really looks like that. Is it sanitary? Probably not. Is it amazing? You bet your jiggling petoot it is.

SERVICE: 

Unsettling

They take your order promptly. They’re very polite. But somehow, you always feel as if you’ve done something wrong or are just generally in the wrong place. Which makes it even better.

EAT OR SKIP: 

Eat

Hubba’s is the type of restaurant that defines you as a person. If you don’t like it, it’s not because something is wrong with Hubba’s; something is wrong with you. I know that might sound harsh, but I cannot tell a lie. Hubba’s is a goddamn national treasure.




Caiola's (Brunch) - Portland, ME

The egg didn’t think highly of herself. Spending all her time with the cream had given her quite the complex. How could it not? The cream was so full of herself; knowing, and constantly expressing, that she was the top of her kind.

Nobody flirted with the egg; the cream got all the attention. The bread would flex its strong crust at her. Bacon would utter just lewd things, so bold. Luckily, the one breakfast meat the egg and cream mutually lusted after stayed silent: sausage.

Oh, how her yolk fluttered for sausage.

She never even dreamed of mixing with him. It was too daring, too audacious. As far as she knew, the people in white would not allow it.

From the scuttlebutt in the fridge, eggs like her had only rarely “mixed” with sausage. Normally, her spotted kind were stuck next to thin toast or put upon a bed of steadfast, earthy hash browns. Not that one could complain. Potatoes were alright. A bit of a bore.

 

You are looking at obscene deliciousness.

 Picture ℅ Map and Menu


“Dahling,” said the cream.

Not now, thought the egg.

“Oh dahling, you just can’t believe what a good feeling I have.”

“Is that right?”

“How can you be so very serious at a time like this?”

“A time like what?”

“Why girl don’t be so daft,” said the cream, looming imperiously over the egg’s carton. “It’s nearly our turn!”

Sure enough, the carton was nearly empty. The egg saw that there were only a couple of her kind left. She felt a thrill in her yolk.

Would she finally meet her lover on the hot, hot stove? Would she finally be allowed some sort of romance in what had been, to date, a very uninteresting and chilly life? Or would she most likely end up in a lonely lump, sectioned off on the plate to be eaten with overpowering ketchup, that uncouth fellow who seemed fine to mingle with almost anything?

“I’m just so very bothered,” said the cream. “I feel just as rich as the day I was skimmed. Don’t you?”

“Well,” said the egg, “I was laid…”

“Quite, quite,” said the cream, “I’m glad you agree.”

They both heard a sound that made them hold their respective non-breath: the squeak of crocs on restaurant-quality rubber. Soon came the suction sound. Then, a sliver of light opened up to the full, bustling panorama of the kitchen.

 

Is tat door a basktball Hoop b/c evry meal s a SLAM DuNK! Ohhhhh noooooNonoNonoNooooooOooOo.

Picture ℅ Maine Today

 

A white apron appeared, raising it’s hand. The hand found the cream, of course, who burbled with delight. But as soon as she was grabbed, her glossy form was quickly scooted aside. The white apron snatched the egg. 

The egg felt weightless, finally chosen. She could hear the cream’s indignation. But the feeling of euphoria didn’t last long; dread swept over her again. She’d be scrambled into a mushy mess. She’d never reach the grandeur of a benedicted egg; that round, gleaming whiteness, covered in a flowing cape of sauce, perched atop a hunk of glistening ham. No, it could never be that good. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Whatever that meant.

The egg was placed beside the griddle, staring out over a veritable orgy of carnal delight, the likes of which she had neither expected nor seen before. Bacon sizzled next to chorizo. Eggs and cheese melted into each other’s embrace. A tingling started inside her.

The egg knew she would be scrambled into mush. She just knew it. But the tingling remained. A glimmer of hope inside her dappled shell.

Oddly enough, the white apron picked up a thick slice of bread and cut out a section in the middle, placing the bread upon the slick, oiled cooking surface. And then with a swift motion, before the egg could even think to protest, the white apron cracked her eternal cover, and poured her, naked, into the rapidly hardening bread’s embrace.


The Bird's Nest: it tastes better than skinny feels.

Picture ℅ Cloak & Dagger 


The egg never thought bread could feel like this. Certainly, she’d gossiped about it with the cream and other eggs. But this bread was so tender, yet so strong. He became stiff as she heated up, her form becoming white and glossy, a color the cream could only ever dream of having. It was amazing. The egg moistened with heat and delight.

And then they were flipped, the bread more on top than around her, penetrating her from seemingly every angle. It was getting so hot. A dash of pepper and salt added some spice to their frantic mingling. The pleasure was so intense the egg could hardly stand it. This bread was amazing: so intuitive in how he enveloped her. Like he was reading her mind and reacting to every thought before she could utter it. She and the bread heaved there on the griddle, for all to see.

By the time the white apron laid the two of them onto a cool plate, the egg was shivering with pleasure. The two of them lay there, saying nothing to each other, simply basking in their mutual heat.

 

Hey. Hey, Cook. Good job.

Picture ℅ Caiola's 


But it seemed that the white apron was not quite done yet. As they lay in each other’s embrace, the white apron appeared with a pot, in which something thick was simmering. A ladle appeared, and the egg gasped.

But what was she smelling? It was something strong, powerful with a hint of spice. No, surely it couldn’t be sausage. This smelled so much fuller, more intensely masculine. It was as if sausage had been distilled somehow, intensifying his most basic, beautiful elements. It couldn’t be sausage. She couldn’t be this lucky.

But it turned out, she was.

With a flick of the wrist, the white apron covered the egg and toast in a powerful, thick layer of sausage gravy. Smooth yet full-bodied. Unbelievable in its potency.

She and the bread both moaned involuntarily. Stores of passion opened up beneath what they thought had been completely spent.

It was an orgy of flavor and texture. Passion rising with each heated moment as they mingled and came to know one another, fully and truly.

They whispered to each other, that trio of flavors. Buttery words of passion slipped between them as they rolled and caressed every inch of each other, the plate, once cold, now warm and steaming beneath them.

All this business, this, sexuality, should have made her feel dirty; a prim egg like herself, completely innocent and unaware of the carnal pleasures that this kitchen permitted. But it felt so right, completely natural. She couldn’t have resisted if she tried. She surrendered herself to the sensations that surrounded her.

The egg was so enraptured with the sausage gravy and toast, she hardly notice that a group of sweet potato fries – shoestring style – had been placed beside them. She didn’t mind their gawking. In fact, in spite of herself, she found that she enjoyed it. Simply, yolk and white-encompassing pleasure. The egg was in ecstasy.

 

"Why is he writing this?" you wonder. Because I can.

Picture ℅ Blueberry Files 


When they’d done everything imaginable to each other -- their romp complete -- they were placed under a hot light.

In that moment, the egg saw something: the cream. Their gazes connected. Even from a distance, the egg could see the envy on the cream’s quivering countenance.

But it didn’t end there. The cream was picked up and poured into a small burnished pitcher. The worst fate of all! She’d be forced to “know” a pot of chatty coffee or snobby tea. A more quotidian end for that hifalutin tea neither the egg nor the cream could imagine.

The things the egg had felt, the heights of passion and pleasure she had found made her almost sorry for the cream. But really, who could feel sorry for that supercilious dame.

The egg put her mind to the present. She knew that her, and her partners’ end was near. It was the natural way for all food to go; each plate eventually whisked off into the bustling commotion of the dining area, that place from which none came back. At least, not the way they left.

It was time to enjoy herself. The egg had been lucky, she knew, ending up in a Bird's Nest with these unsurpassed ingredients. Here in Caiola’s, she could never have guessed the delights that had awaited her. So, rather than think of any future she simply enjoyed the moment. For there is little worse than squandering pleasure with cold, rational thought.

 

FOOD: 

5.0 Stars

Food porn. There is no other way to describe it. Best brunch in Portland.

PRICE: 

Upper Middle Class

For two people, you’ll end up paying ~$40 all told. As opposed to the $35 you’d spend for any other legit brunch. Worth it for sure.

AMBIENCE: 

Rural Italy

Wooden tables. Cute pictures. Comfy (not cramped) seating. However that does mean there could be a wait, so go early.

SERVICE: 

AAA (not major league)

Great servers all around. Smiling. Keeping that coffee filled. Only once did it take a fair bit to get food. But a little more time with your morning coffee? C’mon.

EAT OR SKIP: 

Eat

If you are in Portland on a Sunday morning, there is no possible excuse you can make to not go to Caiola’s brunch. Plague? Tough it out. Plane crash? Go as a zombie. Grandma died? Grandmas die. Wait, that last one was mean. Sorry I love you G mama.

 

 

Lafayette Coney Island - Detroit, MI

            A man could wander into Lafayette Coney Island and think, “ugh.” He could order a Coney Dog or two and find himself underwhelmed by the traditional bun, uninteresting frank and the brown chili that drapes it. Hell, he could stick his nose under every last beige, steel, and seafoam green inch of the place and find nothing of note. Indeed, a man could do such a thing. But let us all hope we are not that man.

           

Picture C/O Foodspotting


            They say Detroit is dying.

            And not a clean, dignified death. A death that sips – not gulps – its life away. The city like a family member so far gone to disease that its residents are forced to love it through memories while trying not to hate what it has become.

            But that is not true.

            The people who lament its death don’t understand that a city cannot die. That death is reserved for us alone. That a city lives in the minds of the people and not in the buildings themselves. That no matter how much it crumbles, no matter how abandoned its skyscrapers or overgrown its lots, that the real city – the Detroit that’s visible only to those who love it – is still as vibrant as El Dorado.

            A man could look at Detroit and think, “so sad. A failed city.”

            Lafayette Coney Island is not a place for such a man. Detroit is not a place for such a man.

 

            In Lafayette Coney Island’s unwieldy name, in its dingy bathroom, in its frill-less food preparation, in its yellowed tile and aging ownership, there is something essentially human. A need to cling to tradition and to the past.  An “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality applied to a situation that probably broke long ago.

            But if it were you, would it be any different?


Picture C/O Hollyeats.com

Circa 2010.

 

            How difficult must it be to own a landmark in a former metropolis? To see the city you loved change, and that for the worse? To see the very landscape around you weather an economic upheaval that has blown, war-like, through building and home alike? And ask yourself: what sort of man sees change like that – destructive, malicious change – and thinks, “well I should change too.” 

            Our perception, historians and physicists agree, defines reality. If we see a ball as green, it is a green ball. The ball has no say in the matter. If our perception told us the ball was red, not green, we would say the ball is red. The ball couldn’t speak up and protest its intrinsic “green-ness”. If we see it as green, it is green. If we see it as red, it is red. Which means, as our perception changes, so do the very objects we perceive. Allow me to explain.

            Lafayette Coney Island was born in a time when fast food was a blessing. Plates piled shoulder-high, the cooks slathered Coney dogs with signature chili and mustard, sprankled them with onions and slung ‘em down the counter to laborers and families alike. In 1914, or thereabouts, nobody thought of carbs or gluten or processed foods or ambience or poly-unsaturated fats.

 

Picture C/O Automobilemag


 

            Lafayette Coney Island contained clean plates and fresh food for minimal price. What more needed to be sold? The perception of the place was that it was wholesome, traditional and cheap. And that was the reality of the place.

            And while nothing has changed at Lafayette Coney Island, everything else has. And so reality has changed with it.

            What was perceived as “fast service” is now “low quality.” What was perceived as “diner ambience” seems haphazard and cramped. What was perceived as a “Traditional Coney Dog” is now a once-in-a-blue moon sodium-fest that any halfway health-conscious American will eat with a pang of involuntary guilt. All this could seem sad. But it’s not sad, it simply is.

 

Picture C/O Roadfood 


            People still love their Coney Dogs, despite what they now represent. People still love the ambience despite its hard-nosed adherence to the past. People still love the name, despite the fact that nobody outside of Michigan even knows what a Coney Island is.

            As our perception changes, so does reality itself. Whether we decide to like the resulting reality is up to us.

            And really, what is not to love about that dog. A warm bun surrounding a sizzling, all-American frank. The key ingredient, of course, being the chili that blankets the whole deal. Lafayette’s brand of chili being more meat than veg, and providing a low-level heat whose piquancy is supported and accentuated by the mustard and onions. It is not an ambitious combination, but then again, most great things rarely are. It is the height of simplicity, a taste spectrum distilled into 5-6, equal bites. It practically eats itself.

 

Picture C/O Theeatenpath


            They say Detroit is dying.

            But they can’t realize that death is simply another form of change. Certainly, Detroit may be crushed by a debt that has forced people out like mice from a burning barn. But that’s simply one version of Detroit.

            Did you know Henry Ford started two, failed motor companies?

            The first, the Detroit Automobile Company: went under after two years. The second, The Henry Ford Company, he quit after only a year. His third, the Ford Motor Company, you know that one.

            Could this Detroit be a first try?  A city from whose ashes a stronger Detroit will spring? Or is it a failed, last chance, forced into the same breath as Pompeii and Ephesus? Regardless of what Detroit is now, we know that time will bring change.

            And when the city changes – because there’s no way it can’t – will it be a single person who takes it upon themselves to mold the future Detroit, like Henry Ford did for cars and America itself? Or will the people leave Detroit, spreading like spores and germinating facets of Detroit in cities across America? Or will the people of Michigan simply weather the worst economic storm ever to make landfall in an American city, and, once it’s over, shrug it off like only a Michigander could?

            History repeats itself. It is a platitude and therefore, like all the oldest clichés, it is deeply true. Detroit rose from nothing and perhaps will sink back into that selfsame dirt. But it will not disappear. It was and therefore it can never not have been. And at some point, be it tomorrow, the day after or in a time none of us will ever see, I believe it will return. It will return thanks to song and story and dreams embedded, dormant, in the minds of people who could not forget.


            They say Detroit is dying.

            But they are not Detroit!

 

            And in that future, Lafayette Coney Island will stand unmoved, an anchor to the past. Uncompromising in its fare, its attitude, and its very existence in a city where existence is a privilege rather than a right.

            A man could wander into Lafayette Coney Island and see just another outdated diner, trapped in the pitiable midst of an expiring giant. But I am not that man. And neither are you.

 

FOOD: 

3.0 Stars

Coney. Dogs. If you like ‘em, 5 stars. If you don’t like ‘em, 1.

PRICE: 

Out of Pocket

After a night out, you can find yourself paying for an entire meal what you just paid for a single drink.

AMBIENCE:

Utility

Formica, steel and tile. It was built to last and last it has.

SERVICE: 

Speedy-keen

You get your dogs fast and with flair. Somehow, the spectacle of a man with like 8 platefuls of processed meat piled up to his shoulder never gets old.

EAT OR SKIP:

 Eat

A landmark that shows its age in the best possible ways. Uncompromising. Unpretentious. Unmissable.

 

Pai Men Miyake - Portland, ME

Pai Men Miyake

a review done through haikus

sit down and get zen


Pai Men: the joint's name

Means 100 noodles, so

carb town here I come


"Want to do Pai Men?"

But we ate there yesterday.

And the day before.


Seat by the kitchen

Beware. Hella smoke. Stinging eyes.

Shit ventilation


Be like an authentic Japanese Salaryman; drink until you cry.

Picture C/O Map and Menu


Solid drink menu

Good beers, wine, cocktails. Though I

always get Bunker.


Time to mix it up

Try a new entree for once

“The usual?” Yes.


The Shoyu Ramen

shoyu = soy sauce, man

Japanese ketchup


The Miso Ramen

Miso hungry. Haha! Right?

You get it? Is joke.


Miso sad you didn't like joke.

Picture C/O Foodspotting


The Paitan ramen

salty, beefy, taste-bud slap

sodium crunk bomb


Sweet, noodle Jesus

Look at all this damn ramen.

Now it's inside me.


You ever seen one of those helicopters that pick up water to put out forest fires?

Picture C/O Yelp user Rachel D.


Waitress walked right by

my beer’s empty WTF

I made eye contact


Perfect meal you ask?

The brussels appetizer,

Shoyu ramen, beer.


Great spicy tuna.

You don’t like spicy tuna?

What? Impossible.


Spicy tuna are known for their bright scales and Sriracha blood.

Picture C/O Foodspotting


Inside, smoke. Strong smell.

Outside get gawked at so hard.

Still, both are worth it.


Take a date there.

Pay for it like a G-baus.

Cash for drinks after.


Better Japanese?

In Portland for the same price?

Go to Pai Men high.


Hipsters welcome!

C/O Flickr user Corey Templeton


Ate Pai Men last week.

Put on the same-ass jacket.

Still smells like ramen.


FOOD: 

4.2 Stars

Ramen. I mean c’mon. Japanese chicken noodle soup for the teenage soul. Sure, their apps and rolls and even salads are diggity delicious too. But, ramen.

PRICE: 

Median

Right in the middle of the road. Get out of a full meal for two for $50 to $60 with dranks.  For the quality of food, It’s a bargain, ya?! 

AMBIENCE: 

Wood ‘n’ stuff

Nicely put together. Though you will notice the smell as soon as you come in. It's a pungent place with all that broth-a-cooking.

SERVICE: 

冷 Shoulder

I’ve been there regularly and while service is always cheerful, there’s something passive aggressive about their timing. Let's stamp this one "adequate."

EAT OR SKIP: 

Eat

You ever had authentic japanese ramen, punk? No? NO? Give this jamma a try.





Brookside Bagels - Simsbury, CT

I love Brookside Bagels. Let me state that fact plain. This does not come from any nepotism or even monetary coercion. Brookside Bagels, unsurprisingly, makes duper-fine bagels. In fact, I put together a couple of *gratis* ads for Brookside out of the kindness of my bagel-lurving heart. However, upon sharing the scripts with Brookside themselves, I received a less-than-carefully worded rejection. 

I was all like: SRSLY?! I mean c'mon. Who would turn down some free ads?

So instead, I've put them below for you to read. You be the judge!


BRIEF LIST OF AD TERMINOLOGY:

VO: Voice Over. Lines of dialogue delivered by an unseen person.

CUT: An abrupt transition between two scenes OR when the camera switches position.

SFX: Sound effects.

SPOT: A complete piece of advertising.

MONTAGE: A rapid succession of scenes. Used to tell a visual story without dialogue.



SPOT 1: BAGEL AFICIONADO

OPEN ON A MAN KISSING HIS WIFE GOODBYE BEFORE WORK. HE GIVES HIS SON A PAT ON THE HEAD.

VO: Bagel aficionados know...

THE MAN WALKS OUT OF HIS FRONT DOOR AND DOWN THE STONE PATH. HE STOPS HALFWAY, AND TURNS BACK TO LOOK AT HIS FAMILY IN THE DOORWAY.

VO: If your family can’t appreciate a homemade, delicious bagel from Brookside Bagels...

THE SON GIVES A TENTATIVE WAVE TO THE FATHER. A TEAR SPRINGS TO THE WIFE’S EYE.

VO: You get the hell out.

THE MAN FLIPS HIS FAMILY THE BIRD, SPITS ON THE SIDEWALK, AND PEELS AWAY ON A DODGE TOMAHAWK.


The lovechild of Easy Rider and Transformers 4: Seizure Explosionbots

Image C/O these guys with an apt name

And their source.




SPOT 2: THE BIRDS AND THE BAGELS

OPEN ON A LITTLE GIRL. SHE STANDS ON TIPTOES TO LOOK OVER THE COUNTER.

GIRL: Mommy, where do bagels come from?

MOM, FROM THE KITCHEN SINK, SMILES AT HER DAUGHTER. 

MOM: Well, honey. It all starts with a Daddy bagel and a Mommy bagel.

CUT TO A BAR SCENE USING SHIMMERY DREAM VFX. A BAGEL WITH A MUSTACHE, SMOKING A BLACK AND MILD, WALKS UP TO A BAGEL WEARING TOO MUCH MAKEUP AND A LOW CUT TOP.

MOM VO: The daddy bagel gets a good drunk on before finding the loosest mommy bagel in the joint.

THE MUSTACHE BAGEL STARTS FRENCHING THE LOW-CUT TOP WEARING BAGEL.

MOM VO: Then they get after it... raw dog. Do you know what raw dog means?

CUT BACK TO THE KITCHEN. THE DAUGHTER SHAKES HER HEAD. THE MOM RUFFLES HER HAIR.

MOM: Oh to be young... Well, let’s just say that they find a crusty motel and slam thatch.

CUT TO THE FRONT OF AN ECONOLODGE. A SINGLE ROOM IS LIT. SILHOUETTED BY CHEAP, RED CURTAINS, WE CAN MAKE OUT A ROTUND THRUSTING FORM.

MOM VO: Then, 9 months later... 

CUT TO A CALENDAR. 9 MONTHS WHIZZ BY.

MOM VO: Once the Daddy bagel is long gone.

CUT TO MOMMY BAGEL WITH A SIGNIFICANT BUMP -- WHERE HER BAGEL-HOLE SHOULD BE -- SMOKING A CIGARETTE, STARING OUT AN UNWASHED WINDOW. 

CUT TO THE FLOOR, A WET SPOT HAS APPEARED BENEATH HER ON THE BEIGE SHAG CARPET. THE MOMMY BAGEL STARES AT IT FOR A LONG TIME. 

MOMMY BAGEL: *Sighs*

CUT TO THE MOMMY BAGEL IN A SANITARY ROBE AND HEAD COVERING ON DELIVERY ROOM TABLE. DOUGH IS EVERYWHERE. BEADS OF PERSPIRATION APPEAR ON HER DETERMINED BAGELFACE. 

SFX: BABY'S WAIL

MOM VO: The mommy bagel goes to the baker. And...

CUT BACK TO THE KITCHEN. THE MOM WHIPS OUT A BAKER’S DOZEN OF WARM BROOKSIDE BAGELS FROM BEHIND HER BACK.

MOM: Voila! Bagels for everyone!

THE GIRL CHEERS AND WE SEE BEAUTY SHOTS OF THE BAGELS BEING TOASTED AND CREAM CHEESE BEING APPLIED.

CUT TO OUTSIDE THE HOUSE. A GIANT BAGEL IN LEATHER PULLS UP ON A DODGE TOMAHAWK. HE GAZES AT THE MOTHER AND DAUGHTER THROUGH THE WINDOW. 

SFX: ENGINE RUMBLE

CUT IN CLOSE TO SEE A WISTFUL LOOK ON THE GIANT BAGEL’S FACE. 

VO: Brookside Bagels.

THE MOTHER SEES THE GIANT TOMAHAWK-RIDING BAGEL AND SLOWLY CLOSES THE CURTAINS.

CUT BACK TO THE BIG BAGEL. WE SEE A TEAR ROLL THROUGH HIS THICK MUSTACHE.

VO: Make it your little secret.


MENU WRITER: But how many colors do we REALLY need, Boss?

BOSS: (Rips off his glasses) All of them.

Image C/O Urban Spoon



SPOT 3: FUTURE-MAN

A FUTURE-MAN APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE ON AN EIGHT-WHEELED DODGE TOMAHAWK. 

SFX: BYOH!

THE FUTURE-MAN’S SUIT IS EMBLAZONED WITH THE SMILING FACE OF JUSTIN BIEBER. JUSTIN BIEBER MAKES KISSY-FACES AT A PASSING TWEEN.

A WOMAN ON A BENCH STARES AT THE FUTURE-MAN, STOPPED MID-BITE INTO HER BROOKSIDE BAGEL.

FUTURE-MAN: (Speaking to the woman on the bench) Gak wazza byagel muncha? I fem de few-cha, hyeh!

WOMAN: Um… Excuse me?

THE JUSTIN BIEBER ON THE FUTURE-MAN’S SUIT FLIPS HIS HAIR AND WINKS AT THE WOMAN.

FUTURE MAN: Where gwan byagel grab hyeh?

WOMAN: I’m really sorry… I don’t... I can’t understand you…

THE WOMAN LOOKS CONFUSED AND TERRIFIED. THE FUTURE MAN GETS OFF THE DODGE TOMAHAWK AND POINTS RIGHT AT THE BAGEL, J-BIEB FLICKS HIS HAIR IN ANNOYANCE.

FUTURE MAN: Gwan byagel! Gweeze ya rumbly tumbly miss byench-sitta! Jos fin de byagel git!

WOMAN: I don’t.. I don’t...

THE WOMAN HAS BEGUN TO CRY.

SUIT J-BIEB: Vape boss yeah?

THE FUTURE MAN NODS AND PULLS OUT WHAT LOOKS LIKE A GARAGE-DOOR OPENER. A BLUE FLASH OF LIGHT OBSCURES THE SCREEN.

SFX: BYOH!

THE WOMAN IS VAPORIZED AND HER BAGEL FALLS TO THE BENCH. THE FUTURE MAN REACHES DOWN AND PICKS UP THE HALF-EATEN BAGEL. J-BIEB FAKE-SPITS AT THE PILE OF SIZZLING ASH THAT USED TO BE A LIVING, BREATHING WOMAN.

THE FUTURE MAN TAKES A BITE OF THE BAGEL AND SMILES.

BROOKSIDE BAGELS LOGO APPEARS.

VO: Brookside! Futuristically delicious!


A scrumptious strata.

Image C/O UrbanSpoon



SPOT 4: PA

OPEN INSIDE BROOKSIDE BAGELS. AN OLD MAN, A YOUNGER WOMAN AND HER SON (A TODDLER) STAND AT THE COUNTER.

WOMAN: I’ll have a cheddar bagel with “lite” cream cheese.

BOY: Bacum egg n’ cheese!

EVERYONE AROUND LAUGHS EXCEPT THE DOUR-LOOKING COUNTER GIRL.

WOMAN: What do you want, Pa?

PA SHAKES HIS HEAD.

PA: No, no. No bagel for me.

WOMAN: Oh, pa. You never have a bagel. These are the best! What is wrong with you?

CUT TO A CLOSEUP OF PA’S EYES. WE RUN BACK IN TIME. HIS EYES BECOME YOUNGER, FULLER WITH LIGHT. THE CROW’S FEET MELT INTO TANNED, YOUTHFUL SKIN.


CUT OUT. PA STANDS IN AN OVERGROWN LOT WEARING A BAKER’S APRON. PA CARRIES A BURLAP BAG.

ACROSS FROM PA, A MANGY, BROWN DOG SITS IN THE GRASS.

YOUNG PA: Here boy…

THE DOG SHIES AWAY. ITS FUR IS CAKED WITH DIRT.

YOUNG PA: Oh I’m not going to hurt you, boy. C’mere. C’mon.

THE DOG CONTINUES TO OOCH AWAY. YOUNG PA THINKS FOR A SECOND THEN PULLS A BAGEL FROM THE BAG.

YOUNG PA: Here boy. You’ll like this.

THE DOG STOPS. LOOKS BACK WITH HEAD HUNG LOW.

YOUNG PA: C’mon boy. C’mon.

YOUNG PA CROUCH-WALKS TOWARD THE DOG AND THE DOG STAYS STILL. YOUNG PA GETS THE BAGEL TO WITHIN INCHES OF ITS FACE. THE DOG’S RIBS SHOW THROUGH ITS SKIN. 

WITH A LUNGE, THE DOG TAKES THE MORSEL. YOUNG PA ATTEMPTS TO GRAB ITS FURLS OF SKIN, BUT MISSES. THE DOG BACKS AWAY. 

CUT CLOSE TO YOUNG PA’S FACE. HE HAS AN IDEA.


CUT TO THE SIDEWALK. YOUNG PA IS LEADING THE DOG HOME WITH A TRAIL OF TORN-OFF BAGEL CRUMBS. 


CUT TO YOUNG PA AT THE FRONT DOOR. THE FRAME IS ASKEW AND THE SCREEN IS RIPPED OUT AND BLOWING IN SUMMER HEAT. AT YOUNG PA’S SIDE IS THE DOG, MUNCHING HAPPILY ON THE LAST OF THE BAGEL. A RATTY PIECE OF ROPE TIED AROUND ITS NECK LEADS TO PA’S HAND.


A LARGE, BLACK SHADOW APPEARS IN THE DOOR. ALL WE CAN MAKE OUT IS THE RED BLOOM OF THE END OF A CIGAR. IT ILLUMINATES A BULBOUS, LARGELY PORED NOSE.

YOUNG PA: Hi Pa.

PA’S PA: What’s this?

YOUNG PA: My dog.

PA’S PA: Looks rabid.

SFX: THE DOG WHIMPERS.

YOUNG PA: No he’s not. He’s calm and all. I can feed him and do everything for him. You won’t even know he’s here.

THE DOG LETS OUT A LITTLE TOOT.

SFX: DOGTOOT

CUT TO PA’S PA WRINKLING HIS NOSE.

PA’S PA: Dog probly got rabies. You let him go y’hear.

PA’S PA DISSIPATES BACK INTO THE DARK INSIDE. YOUNG PA LOOKS DOWN AT THE DOG WHO LOOKS BACK UP AT HIM, WAGGING HIS TAIL. 


CUT TO THE RAILYARD. WEEDS SPRING UP AROUND RUSTED TRACKS. YOUNG PA LETS GO OF THE RATTY LEASH. THE DOG DOESN’T RUN. 

YOUNG PA: Go on! Hya!

THE DOG WINCES BUT STAYS SITTING.  YOUNG PA GOES TO LEAVE AND THE DOG FOLLOWS HIM. YOUNG PA TURNS, PICKS UP A CLOD OF DIRT AND CHUCKS IT AT THE DOG. YOUNG PA MISSES BUT THE DOG YELPS AND RUNS AWAY.


CUT TO THE KITCHEN. YOUNG PA IS BACK IN BAKING ATTIRE. HE PLACES A BAG OF BAGELS ON THE DINNER TABLE.

PA’S PA AND PA’S MA SIT AT EITHER END IN GRAY SILENCE. PA'S PA GRABS A PUMPERNICKEL BAGEL.

CUT TO CLOSEUP OF PA’S PA’S MOUTH. HE MASHES PUMPERNICKEL BETWEEN HIS TEETH. FLECKS FALL DOWN INTO HIS GRAYING GOATEE. 

PA’S PA: MMMMmmmmMMM. Love pumpernickel.

YOUNG PA PUTS HIS BAKER’S APRON OVER THE SEAT, TAKES A BAGEL AND ASKS TO BE EXCUSED.

SFX: PA’S MA GRUNTS

CUT OUTSIDE TO A BROWN, MIDWESTERN EVENING. PA SNEAKS TO THE SIDE OF THE PORCH.

SFX: YOUNG PA WHISTLES QUIETLY

CUT TO CLOSE-UP OF DOG’S HEAD EMERGING FROM UNDER THE PORCH. THE DOG HAPPILY EATS THE BAGEL FROM YOUNG PA’S HAND.


MONTAGE OF FUTURE DINNERS: YOUNG PA PUTS A BUNCH OF BAGELS DOWN. PA’S PA GORGES ON PUMPERNICKEL BAGELS. YOUNG PA STEALS A BAGEL AWAY AND FEEDS THE DOG. THE DOG LOOKS HEALTHIER AND HEALTHIER AS TIME GOES ON.


THE MONTAGE ENDS AND WE CUT TO THE FAMILY SITTING AT THE DINNER TABLE, AS SEEN THROUGH A RAINY WINDOW. INSIDE WE SEE YOUNG PA SLIP A BAGEL INTO HIS POCKET. 

CUT TO A CLOSE UP OF PA’S PA’S EYES SLITTING WITH SUSPICION. 

PA GOES OUTSIDE AND FEEDS THE DOG AS NORMAL. BEHIND HIM WE CAN SEE THE RED BULB OF A CIGAR THROBBING IN THE WINDOW.

SFX: THUNDER


CUT TO NEXT DINNER. PA GOES TO FEED THE DOG AS USUAL. 

SFX: PA WHISTLES QUIETLY.

CUT TO DARKNESS UNDER PORCH. WE SEE NOTHING BUT WET, BROWN LEAVES.

SFX: YOUNG PA WHISTLES A BIT MORE LOUDLY

SFX: DOG WHIMPERS

YOUNG PA LOOKS UP. PA’S PA HAS THE DOG IN ONE HAND AND A REMINGTON IN THE OTHER. 

SFX: YOUNG PA GASPS

PA’S PA: This here dog is rabid. 

YOUNG PA: No he’s not.

PA’S PA: Tried to bite me. 

PA’S PA OFFERS OUT THE REMINGTON.

PA’S PA: Either you’re going to do it or I am.

YOUNG PA: But, he ain’t rabid! Please… Just… Just let him go!

PA’S PA: Will you do it? Or do I have to?

YOUNG PA: Pa! Please!

PA’S PA: Alright then.

PA’S PA STOMPS INTO THE WOODS. YOUNG PA, HAIR PLASTERED FLAT TO SCALP, SLUMPS DOWN IN THE MUD AND THE RAIN AND CRIES.

SFX: THUNDER

SFX: GUNSHOT


CUT TO LATE AT NIGHT IN THE BAKERY. YOUNG PA POURS PUMPERNICKEL INTO A BOWL. HE MIXES THE BOWL BY HAND. THEN HE PULLS OUT ANOTHER BAG, ON THE SIDE IS AN UPSIDE DOWN RAT WITH A SKULL NEXT TO IT. YOUNG PA MEASURES OUT A CUP AND POURS IT INTO THE BOWL.


CUT TO THE DINNER TABLE. YOUNG PA PUTS DOWN THE BAG OF BAGELS LIKE NORMAL.

PA’S PA REACHES OUT AND GRABS A PUMPERNICKEL BAGEL. ACROSS THE TABLE, WE SEE YOUNG PA LOWER HIS HEAD. 

CLOSE UP OF PA’S PA’S MOUTH. CRUMBS AND BAGEL-MUSH CHURN THEN DISAPPEAR.

SFX: A TRAIN’S HORN HOOTS SOMEWHERE FAR OUTSIDE.

CUT TO PA’S PA ON THE GROUND, WRITHING AS FOAM SLIPS FROM HIS LIPS AND PLOPS ON THE YELLOWED LINOLEUM.

PA’S MA: (flustered) Call an ambulance! Tell them it’s rabies! Go on! Call somebody!

YOUNG PA STANDS BY THE PHONE. HOLDING THE RECEIVER LIMP AT HIS SIDE.

PA’S MA: (screaming) Call somebody!

SLOW ZOOM ON YOUNG PA’S EYES. WE GO IN AND IN. WRINKLES TUNNEL INTO HIS CHEEKS. THE SKIN YELLOWS AND SPOTS APPEAR AS HIS EYES FADE AND DULL.


CUT TO THE LITTLE BOY, TUGGING ON PA’S SLEEVE IN BROOKSIDE BAGELS. PRESENT DAY.

MOTHER: Don’t be a grouch, Pa! Have a bagel!

BOY: Yeah Popop. Havem begel!

EVERYBODY NEARBY IN LINE LAUGHS, EVEN THE DOUR CASHIER. PA LOOKS AROUND, A SMILE APPEARS ON HIS FACE.

PA: Well, alright.

EVERYBODY: Yayyyyy!

VO: Nobody can resist a fresh Brookside Bagel.

THE BROOKSIDE BAGELS LOGO RIDES IN ON A DODGE TOMAHAWK.



Lush. Luscious.

Image C/O Yelp user Johnathan S.


FOOD: 

3.5 Stars

This is the best bagel I’ve had. Bar nothing. Crunchy outside, soft, fall-apart-moist inside. Every flavor and style: bagelfection. So, why 3.5 stars? Nearly everything else on the menu (except bagels and breakfast sandwiches) is meh.

PRICE: 

Low-ish

Though it is Connecticut, you won't need a country club membership to afford this joint. $5 for a bagel and morning coffee sort of deal.

AMBIENCE:

Afterthought

Wooden furniture. Local art on the walls. Small. For my money, don't eat in. Take it home and enjoy it with some crisp CT air and televised American Football.

SERVICE: 

Simsbury High School

Have you ever ordered anything from a teenager? There you go.

EAT OR SKIP: 

Eat

Anyone who’s said they've had the “best bagel ever” without trying Brookside is a filthy, cretinous liar.




Marcy's Diner - Portland, ME

Man A: Are you ready to go?

Man B: If you’ll lend us an ear.

Man 2: As we review Marcy’s.

Man 3: …

Man 2: Um, Man 3 isn’t here. 


Man A: Hmm, the timing is right.

Man B: Wednesday morn on the dot.

Man 2: I’m really sorry guys, but here he is not.

Man 3: …


Man A: Man 2 that was your duty!

Man B: Your call and your charge!

Man 2: I really am sorry, I feel like an ass that’s quite large.

Man 3: …


Man A: Well this is a boot in the jeans.

Man B: A tap to the jewels.

Man 2: Where the hell could he be?

Man 3: Yo, what up fools!


Man A: Finally, good goodness.

Man B: You’ve decided to show.

Man 2: What took you so long?

Man 3: Um, some stuff... Look, let’s go.


They gawt a sense a hume-a!

Picture C/O Tripadvisor



A-5, 6, 7, 8!


Man A: Well haven’t you heard?

Man B: Rave reviews did you see?

Man 2: For a diner in Portland by the name of?

Man 3: Man 3?


Man A: Already, you cooked it.

Man B: Straight into the pot!

Man 2: Dude, we’re rhyming about Marcy’s.

Man 3: That’s not what I thought.


Man A: We absolutely are.

Man B: Marcy’s Diner you know?

Man 2: Open for breakfast + brunch,

Man 3: I don’t know that place, yo.


Man A: What the hell, man?

Man B: Seriously, what the hay?

Man 2: We’re only here to review it.

Man 3: Well why didn’t you say?


Man A: It was on the invite.

Man B: yeah seriously Man 3.

Man 2: Ohhhh, I forgot to give it to him.

Man 3: Haha! Boom!… See?!


Man A: Well we’re doing it now.

Man B: This is taking too long.

Man 2: Alright, we’re reviewing Marcy’s Diner.

Man 3: Yo check out this song.


Man A: Jesus in God’s heaven!

Man B: Poo out a brick!

Man 2: I vouched for you Man 3.

Man 3: What? Why are you being a dick?


Man A: Hey! No more profanity!

Man B: We’re here for Marcy’s, see?

Man 2: Didn’t you eat there yesterday?

Man 3: Is it right on Oak St. and Free?


Man A: That corner precisely.

Man B: Green front, hard to miss.

Man 2: It’s the one with the flag.


Man 3: Wait. Crap. Looks like this? 


Man A: So, have you been then?

Man B: Yeah, you really did go?

Man 2: He was most likely baked.

Man 3: hahahahahahahaha right? Y’know?


Man A: Cease this talk about drugs!

Man B: We’re child-friendly: PG.

Man 2: Oh right, Man 3, play along.

Man 3: That’s one lame-ass strategy.


Man A: Well, gentlefolks love it.

Man B: “peeps” all kinds, you know.

Man 2: We’re doing this mainstream.

Man 3: Shi... I mean, fu.. Whatever, let’s go.


Man A: …OK, so we’re ready?

Man B: Seriously, all set?

Man 2: I know that I am.

Man 3: Yeah, sure. You bet!


Man A: Alright, Marcy’s is fine.

Man B: For breakfast in a pinch.

Man 2: Hash browns that are solid.

Man 3: Though cash only’s a bitch.


Man A: Hey! Though that is quite true.

Man B: And no ATM nearby.

Man 2: Means it’s less than convenient.

Man 3: Like c’mon Marcy’s, try.


Man A: The Hobo Hash is indicative.

Man B: Of the whole place.

Man 2: Home fries, chili, cheese, eggs

Man 3: Straight to the face.



No, that’s not my finger in the side of the picture! IGNORE IT!


Man A: The proportion’s humongous.

Man B: Made with love not finesse.

Man 2: And the end result, while tasty.

Man 3: Is kind of a mess.


Man A: Flavors sink into flavors 

Man B: Meld to form a gut bomb

Man 2: Enough food for a family.

Man 3: Even ur mom.


Man A: ...The best part’s the muffins

Man B: Heated straight off the grill.

Man 2: Though the coffee is standard

Man 3: ...I shouldn’t have taken that pill.


Man A: Seriously? What did he say?

Man B: We were doing so well…

Man 2: Man 3 what’s the deal?

Man 3: What if our skin was a shell?


Man A: Please tell me this isn’t happening.

Man B: Seriously, what did he take?

Man 2: I dunno he’s f-ing out-there

Man 3: Hee! That’s no hat for a snake!


Man A: So he’s tripping now, right?

Man B: Look, he’s crawling around.

Man 2: He’ll be fine in a minute…

Man 3: Sergeant Hissy just frowned.


Man A: Can we do this without him?

Man B: Yeah it’s pretty simple to do.

Man 2: Ummm. *Looks over at Man 3*

Man 3: A plus B equals… moo!



Hello, old friend.

Picture C/O Jemura42



Man A: Forget it, let’s try.

Man B: Yeah we were talking about coffee.

Man 2: So should we move to the service?

Man 3: Yebdo qhi ni Pon Mofee.


Man A: Oh now he’s talking in tongues!

Man B: This is really distracting...

Man 2: I knew I shouldn’t have invited him! 

Man 3: Haha, boom bitches! Acting!


Man A: Wait, you were fine all along?

Man B: You son of a bitch!

Man 2: Jesus dude, I was worried.

Man 3: Chill out y’all, what’s the sitch?


Man A: The “sitch” is you’ve sunk us .

Man B: An abject disaster.

Man 2: Yeah man, I doubt anyone’s still reading.

Man 3: Whatever, you’re lame and I’m plastered.


Man A: Plastered or not... 

Man B: Let’s just finish this thing.

Man 2: *whispering* actually it was pretty funny.

Man 3: *whispering back* Man A’s eyes were all *p-ting!*


Man A: Alright, Marcy’s: their service.

Man B: Been fast and courteous to me.

Man 2: Though the owner has a slight ‘tude.

Man 3: Hey, courtesy ain’t free.


Man A: Her personality is strong, I’ll concede.

Man B: But the food is the point.

Man 2: It’s fine enough for a diner.

Man 3: After a big fatty j… appoint… ment.


Killer selection of SOUCE, though.


Man A: I’ve had the corned beef hash.

Man B: The litmus test of a diner.

Man 2: Yeah we both had that too.

Man 3: And I have had finer.


Man A: That’s precisely the key.

Man B: It seems no matter what you get.

Man 2: It’s stick to your ribs tasty.

Man 3: But it’s never the best bet.


Man A: Yes, indeed it is good.

Man B: But for the rave reviews we've heard.

Man 2: After Caiola’s and Hot Suppa,

Man 3: this ain’t even third.


Man A: Indeed an adequate summation.

Man B: It’s the truth there’s no doubt.

Man 2: The best brunch in Portland?

Man 3: This is not, yo. Peace OUT.




FOOD: 

3.0 Stars

The type of meal where the first bite is great, and the last one is a labor.

PRICE: 

Standard

Nothing to break the bank. You’ll get more than stuffed for $14. Or just take it easy and you can skate out for under $10.

AMBIENCE: 

Homey

Lots of kitsch and “Kiss the cook... OR ELSE” type fridge stickers. Def cozy tho.

SERVICE: 

Homey

Again, like at home, they’re warm and know your name, but they won’t hesitate to give you some good-natured guff.

EAT OR SKIP: 

Skip

Sure, there’s a lot that Marcy’s does really right. It’s just that in Portland, the brunch options abound. For minimally more, and in some cases less money, you can find a brunch that’s about 4x better.